Drug Development

Tiny RXi bags an option to buy CAR-T fledgling MirImmune

 Tim Barberich

Tim Barberich

Eighteen months after MirImmune grabbed a license to RXi’s $RXII RNA tech for use in developing new cell therapies, the tiny mother ship — with a market cap of only $11 million after a steady fade of its stock price — is now looking to reel back the whole effort under a buyout option.

Based in Marlborough, MA with a group of co-founders that includes the former CEO of Sepracor, Tim Barberich, the low-profile MirImmune went to RXi last March to gain a license to a tech that could be used to develop new cell immunotherapies for cancer — a hot topic in the biotech world. Initially, RXi had reserved an option for a chunk of MirImmune.

Under the new deal, RXi is getting rights to buy up the preclinical company for about 20% of its stock and some other, undefined, incentives based on milestones.

Dr. Alexey Eliseev

Dr. Alexey Eliseev

And the public company is setting up a securities offering now to help complete the deal, evidently looking to help sell shares by touting the prospects of a deal revolving around cell therapies.

RXi has until April 5, 2017 to decide if it wants to pull the trigger.

Said Dr. Alexey Eliseev, CEO of MirImmune:

“We treat therapeutic immune cells with RNAi compounds ex-vivo to knock down immune checkpoints, such as PD-1, LAG-3 and others. This treatment boosts the anti-tumor activity of the cells when they are subsequently administered to the patients.”

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